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Lets get real here. Out of 42 million rentals, 18,400 were stolen or vandalized. That is a rate of one in 2,283. Big deal. To me that seems like a very low loss rate.

I would be willing to wager that in Paris's car rental companies, far more than one in 2283 rentals has the car stolen or vandalized.

This article is pure anti-bike spin. The headline should read "Parisians astonishingly honest."

JCDecaux is the only aource quoted in the article. My guess is what is really driving this is lower ad revenues due to the economy crashing. They want a bailout - typical corporate greed.

As with so many statistics, we need to have something to compare with and relate to the Paris numbers.

What is the loss/ damage rate for other European and/ or US bike rental schemes (I had to use the word!)?

Comparing it with car rental companies may not be appropriate since I assume that bikes are rented more frequently, for shorter intervals and fewer miles than cars...

In any event, JCDeceaux is a sophisticated for-profit firm and the quetching is certainly based on their desire to pay as little as possible on obligations that they have agreed to in the past.

What I don't understand is why this is even an issue. They should know - through records - who last checked out a bike. They should know the replacement cost for the bike. When the bike is not returned in good working order, they should just charge the credit card of whoever checked it out, with an appropriate appeal process, n'est pas? The only real concern should be bikes that are damaged while locked into a kiosk. For those: insurance.

I used Velib' in the summer of '07 and thought it was great. It would be shame if other cities got cold feet.

Both short-term and long-term Velib' rentals require a 150 euro deposit (or credit card pre-authorization, like a rental car), so I'm not sure exactly where the problem is, unless the damage/loss is taking place while the bikes are parked (locked) in the kiosk (as someone else suggests).

It should be noted that while Paris is a relatively safe city, property crime and vandalism are a problem. In the 90's, apparently, experts were brought in from NYC to deal with graffiti.

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